The best life is a God First life

Category: Heart (Page 1 of 2)

Beauty In The Wake of Storms

There is great beauty in the wake of the storms; the loss of life is horrible, The destruction of property, livelihoods, and displacement of families is heart-wrenching, yet we find great beauty shining through the masses doing all they can to help. It’s in these troubled times that we get to see what’s really at the hearts of most people. They are not concerned with the color of your skin, your beliefs, or how you live your daily lives, no! They come together performing searches, opening their homes, businesses, church buildings, etc. They come to rebuild; they gather and send supplies for storm victims from all over our nation to help out.

In the Wake of Storms, mankind acts with compassion, concern, and love for one another. This is the America of the masses. The America that cares about people, about the well-being of those hurting and in need.

This is where we see America’s greatness and the love we have for one another that’s truly at our very core.

It’s here we see the love of God in and through the people acting in unity.

God First!

Learning what 3000 learned!

When the Church of Christ was first established in 33 AD, the apostles told their audience about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and many in the crowd listened. I would imagine they listened very intensely and that the more they heard, the more they realized the significance of what had been done. They were now comprehending the truth over a false narrative. They now realized the Jesus they hung on the cross was the actual; Son of God. This awaking prompted them to be concerned, to wonder, and to ask: “What shall we do?

“And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized (emersed) every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 ESV

To repent from sin against God is to realize we are wrong and become remorseful. In this remorse, we understand our sinful actions move us away from God and towards eternal darkness. In this realization, we long never to make such bad choices again. Thus, in our desire to make it right, we repent, consciously taking steps in a new direction, walking away from the darkness of this world towards the forgiving light of Jesus.

Peter went on to say, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Each of us is accountable for our own salvation; each person who heard this message had (and today, we still have) the ability to be saved by responding to the Word of God! (Below, many verses are listed that tell us how)

Choosing to follow God is not a forced decision; it’s an informed decision. God has given us reason and proof to believe. In today’s world, we all have access to God’s Word. So why not study the actual Word of God and find out if what we understand from others is what the Bible says? If not, be willing to change direction. When God’s Word is our foundation and not the words of others, it leads us to better discernment.

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:40-41 ESV

After hearing Peter’s answer along with more testimony and words to compel them, around three thousand souls came to understand that to be saved, they needed to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Scripture goes on to tell us those who did so were; added to the lord’s church.

Peter’s answer was good for about 3000 souls

Ever wonder why it’s not good enough for many today? Scripture does NOT say they were baptized simply as an outward sign of an inward decision. No, God’s Word says they were baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

Why do some discount the apostles’ answer and cling to claims invented by others thousands of years later? Claims such as; A prayer alone now saves you, or faith alone now saves you, or that baptism is a work, or that a symbolic baptism before you have heard the message of Christ or have any understanding saves you. I implore anyone who believes any of these ideas to please look closer at what scripture says on these matters. Find out what the bible says about how to be “In Christ.” Don’t believe me; believe God’s own words. Open your bible and study the God-breathed scripture. It is the Absolute Truth of God, and despite some opinions, take comfort in knowing the bible itself proves God and that all of scripture is God-Breathed.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:3-11
  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

The Key and the Thread

  • Unity with God’s Word is unity with God.
  • Unity with God’s Word is unity with others.

We find unity when we cumulatively do God’s will, seek and use God’s Word as our standard.

Unity among believers is not found doing our will; It’s not found dismissing any of God’s Word as unnecessary or not applicable today. Unity is not found by trying to improve on what God told us to do. However, unity is a key to spiritual growth; it’s a thread that binds us together as disciples of Christ in peace, harmony, and Love.

Unity in Truth is important!

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”

Jesus (John 14:15)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

  • Romans 14:19
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11
  • Acts 4:32
  • Ephesians 4:23
  • Ephesians 4:11-13
  • Matthew 18:19-20
  • John 13:35
  • 1 Peter 3:8
  • Philippians 2:2-3
  • Colossians 3:13-14
  • Ephesians 4:1-6
  • John 17:23
  • John 4:12
  • Galatians 3:26-28
  • Matthew 23:8
  • Psalm 133:1

Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

As I pondered my answer, I realized; this is exactly what we do when we don’t take advantage of opportunities to grow in Christ and build on our relationship with Him.

What happens when we make time to attend as many studies as possible? We draw closer to God, and He draws closer to us; we get to know God and fellow seekers of truth better and our actions demonstrate where our heart’s desire resides.

My heart’s desire once demonstrated my love for; time, eating, tennis, TV, relaxation, fun, laughter, etc. I made time for all these things because my heart’s desire once put them on a pedestal. During that period of life and without realizing it, I was not putting God First, but rather at My convenience.

In a discussion about not attending Sunday bible classes, Worship service, and other growth and edification opportunities such as Sunday evening or midweek bible studies, a friend asked me: Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

As I thought about his question, I realized the validity of his point. That’s exactly what we do. If I don’t prioritize these opportunities, I’m cheating myself. But, that’s not all; I’m cheating others, starting with my family, those who may follow my lead or depend on me to get them to and from services. So, bottom line, I asked myself, What kind of example am I being?

By not prioritizing my attendance at every opportunity, am I not short-changing family, friends, and myself by not leading us toward spiritual growth? When we don’t attend, we miss out on knowledge, better understanding, fellowship, and growth opportunities. In addition, we miss out on being examples to others. Examples that demonstrate our gratitude, understanding, and belief that God should be first in our lives.

I now look forward to every opportunity to increase my understanding of Scripture and to grow through the uplifting unity of fellow believers by sharing and growing in the truth of Christ with one another.

If you are not attending at every opportunity, I offer this for your consideration…

Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

God First!

I wrote most of this before the COVID-19 virus, which forced us into our homes to worship online. Yet, the point is still the same. Are we prioritizing our worship time and Bible study? Are we taking advantage of every opportunity for spiritual nourishment? Do our loved ones get to see our commitment by our actions? If not, Why would we want to cheat ourselves like that?

The Mirror of Reflection and Growth

Our dual battle between good and evil starts with the desires of our hearts and minds. (James 1:15) When we act with goodness, we glorify God. When we act on evil desires, we sin against God.

Our actions show our heart so let us not be afraid to better ourselves by embracing the mirror of reflection and growth.

Let us ask ourselves daily:

  • Are my actions demonstrating where I know my heart’s desire, should be?
  • Am I proud of my actions?
  • Would Jesus be proud of my actions?
  • Did I reject temptation?

If the answer is “Yes” then you do well if your answers are “No” remember God forgives, He even forgets, If bad habits have formed it’s not too late to replace them with good habits. Scripture tells us to repent, which means: To change direction. There is never a better time to change direction than the moment you realize you need too and reflection helps us get to that point.

 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:21

God’s word tells us how to focus our minds and hearts, how to overcome the temptation to sin. (Philippians 4:5-9)

  • Hebrews 8:12
  • Matthew 5:44
  • Matthew 5:16
  • Matthew 22:37–39
  • Grace: – Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith: – Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance: – 2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess: – Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin: – Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

AdvocateforChrist.com

God First!

Include God; He offers so much!

We know from Scripture we are made in the image of God; we also know from God’s Word that God has feelings. For example, that God hates sin, God loves, God is righteously jealous, etc. so; I have a few questions for us to ponder:

How do we feel when the only time someone thinks of us is when they need or want something?

How do you think God feels when we treat him that way?

Why treat him this way?

It’s obvious from Scripture; God wants to be included in our lives; He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This said, Why would we not want to include God in all that we do?. After all, Jesus told us to: ask, seek, and knock.

Our very breath is dependent on our creator! By embracing God’s love and keeping his commandments, we secure God’s promise of eternal life. Thus, we can obtain the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If we are truly In Christ, our hearts are filled with joy and the comfort of God. Therefore, it seems kind of stupid to me to exclude God when he offers so much life both in this world and for eternity.

  • Ephesians 6:18 – pray often
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – God of all comfort
  • James 5 – prayers of the righteous
  • Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask, Seek, Knock
  • Philippians 4:7 – Peace beyond understanding
  • John 15:1-16 – Joy

Money is not evil

According to Scripture, “the love of money” is the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10), however; Acquiring or having money is not evil; evil depends on how we pursue and use money. We can use it for good things that glorify God or selfish things that glorify sin; what’s really important is where our hearts reside.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Jesus’s words: Luke 12:34 ESV

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:20

AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH

MARK 12:30 (NASB1995)

God First!

How would you feel?

How would you feel? Your daughter’s been a bit of a tomboy most of her life, you love her with all your heart, and she gets engaged to marry. Now, you are a master at sewing and spend months sparing no expense, gathering the perfect materials, designing, preparing, sewing, and tweaking to perfection the most beautiful wedding dress the world has ever seen. With each adjustment, love flows exuberantly from your heart. Your imagination is unstoppable as you visualize your daughter walking down that aisle. You are creating ”A Work of Art,” just for her! And you know in your heart, she’s going to recognize and appreciate all the love you’ve put into creating this gorgeous wedding dress. In this dress, she will be the bride of brides and forever grateful. (talk about precious memories!) When your daughter sees the dress, she exclaims how beautiful it is; she tries it on and is simply stunning. She hugs you, and thank’s you profusely. (You smile!)A few days later, you come home and see your daughter in jeans and a t-shirt doing what she loves working on her pickup truck with tools, parts, dirt, and grease all over the place, which is kind of normal for her, what you don’t expect to see is the wedding dress under feet being used as a drop cloth to protect the driveway.

How would you feel?

Are you disappointed, hurt? I know. This is absurd and would never happen, right? Yet, in a sense, it has happened and does happen. Not, to the creator of a wedding dress, No; It’s much worse. This is how ”Our” creator gets treated by His creation.

God created this beautiful, fascinating universe for us, and after creating each piece, God said: “This is good” BUT, after creating, mankind God called it all “VERY GOOD.” God was pleased with His creation. God also sacrificed tremendously for us. His plan included the life, death, and resurrection of His son through which God extended an offer of grace to everyone that we might all have eternal life in heaven. At some point, many learn of Christ and put on Christ in baptism; we thank God profusely and recognize His love. We put God First in our lives, then often get caught up in skewed self-absorbed priorities and quickly lose sight of what’s really important. We let honoring God trickle down our priority list. This is when we really hurt our Creator. God watches when we treat ”His artwork” as if it was worthless fabric, as we step-on, trample, smudge, dirty, and abuse His perfection, His labor, and Gifts of pure love; God knows our hearts! The Church is the bride of Christ; those who are “In Christ” should always be mindful of God’s precious gifts. God told us how we could demonstrate our thankfulness. Jesus said; if you love me, you will keep My Commandments, and “the greatest command is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. God gave us freedom of choice; the one thing we can offer God that is ours to give is our choice. Our choice to love God by following Christ and keeping His commandments to the best of our ability. It’s all God really asks of us!

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Isaiah‬ ‭61:10‬
May we always keep God First in our lives, every second of every day!
  • Genesis 1:31
  • Exodus 20:3
  • Exodus 34:14
  • Psalm 18:31
  • John 5:44
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • John 3:16
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Romans 12:1-2

God First!

••• Viewing the Soul •••

  • If you’re attractive – so what!
  • If you’re ugly – so what!
  • If you’re poor – so what!
  • If you’re rich – so what!
  • I could care less if you’re black, white, yellow, green, purple, or red…
  • So what!

When I wave at you, I wave at a soul when I smile at you, I smile at a soul, but more importantly, when God looks at you, He sees your soul. When God looks at you, He sees your heart and knows your mind.

May we always live to bring honor and glory to God, striving to be someone after God’s own heart, willing to do all God’s Will to the best of our ability. Pleasing to the loving eyes of God.

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.”

Acts‬ ‭13:22‬

‬God First!

The glories of life

If you saw the glories of life through my eyes; You would go to sleep each night with great anticipation! Looking forward to the next morning’s air, its sunshine, its birds, and playful squirrels in the trees.

Through my eyes; Each morning brings a new opportunity to hear the voice of those I love and do my best to see them smile and hear their laugh. To tease them, hug them, play with them or even; just sit with them and soak the glories in!

Through my eyes; We all miss out when we sleep in late and must rush to start the new day’s race. But even then, I do my best to start their day at its very best! To bring a smile upon their face, they can carry through the day’s race.

~Boo Boo

If only we all lived each day in this way, what a blessing it would be to everyone around us. What Joy we would have in our hearts, what Joy we would bring to others all day long.

Written by: Wayne Johnson

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